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James Lee Burke is an exceptional story teller and a great writer. His characters are chiselled with a powerful style and gusto and move in an evocative southern atmosphere. The plot is around a young man coming of age in '50's Houston when he encounters romantic love, unrestricted violence and the continue dilemma of choices between evil and good. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but, admittedly, there is too much ; the story is too intense for high schoolers who speak like John Wayne in the good old western movies of the 60s. Eventually it doesn't ring true.
Will Patton is outstanding and his reading performance is a pleasure by itself.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
The Jealous Kind, a novel of over eleven hours, could just as easily have been a short story: the narrative takes place among divergent small groups of teenagers and adults over a few summer weeks in early 1950s Houston. Instead, James Lee Burke has graced us with this beautifully constructed and worded full-length work. Because Burke is one of my two favorite authors (the other, not coincidentally, being Larry McMurtry), I have to admit to bias, but all I can say is that this is not only Burke at his best, but novel-writing itself at its best. I frequently found myself repeating sentences and passages just to take pleasure in the wonderful prose.
On top of this, we also experience Will Paton at his best. He doesn't just read the characters' words, or even just acts them -- he _becomes_ the characters. After listening to many of his previous narrations, I thought he couldn't get any better, but he has, and sets the bar at a new high.
14 of 17 people found this review helpful